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VOLUME LXIV AUGUST 2018 NUMBER 8
Published monthly as an official publication of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America.
Duane L. Vaught Grand Master
Contents Grand Masterâ€™s Message Grand Master Duane L. Vaught ....................... 4
David J. Kussman Grand Captain General and Publisher 1781 N. Pheasant Street Anaheim, CA 92806-1007
Address changes or corrections and all membership activity Templar Headgear Makes the Man? Sir Knight James A. Marples............................ 5 including deaths should be reported to the recorder of the Masonic Philosophy local Commandery. Please do Sir Knight Robert W. Bruneau.......................... 7 not report them to the editor. George W. Vallery Sir Knight George L. Marshall, Jr., PGC.............. 9 The Mystery of Baphomet Sir Knight Jaime Paul Lamb............................ 23 The Masonic Importance of the Royal Arch Sir Knight Nicholas Adair............................... 30
Lawrence E. Tucker Grand Recorder Grand Encampment Office 5909 West Loop South, Suite 495 Bellaire, TX 77401-2402 Phone: (713) 349-8700 Fax: (713) 349-8710 E-mail: email@example.com
Magazine materials and correspondence to the editor should be sent in electronic form to the managing editor whose contact information is shown below. Materials and correspondence concerning the Grand Commandery state supplements should be sent to the respective In Memoriam........................................................ 11 supplement editor.
Holy Land Pilgrimage............................................. 12 The Knights Templar Eye Foundation.................16,20 Grand Commandery Supplement........................... 18 Prelateâ€™s Chapel .................................................... 22 Beauceant News.................................................... 33 Knights at the Bookshelf........................................ 34
John L. Palmer Managing Editor
Post Office Box 566 Nolensville, TN 37135-0566 Phone: (615) 283-8477 Fax: (615) 283-8476 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover photo of the Templar town of La Cavalarie in France by the editor.
Grand Encampment web site: www.knightstemplar.org www.knightstemplar.org/KnightTemplar/archive
Grand Master’s Message
n my first article as your Grand Master I wrote: “It’s an amazing feeling, being elected and installed as the 58th grand master of our Grand Encampment. It’s also an awesome responsibility. In this, my first magazine article as grand master, I am going to break with tradition and not discuss at length how pleased and excited I am to be grand master. Please understand that those feelings exist, but they are of negligible interest to the bulk of our membership. I want to touch instead on what we are looking forward to in this Fraternity and why we can all be excited about what lies ahead.” I then talked about plans for our bicentennial, focusing more on producing over selling good activities, the leadership program, department meetings, Eye Foundation awards, changes in the Education Foundation, and that the real practice of Templary occurs locally. In later months, I spoke about these matters as well as sharing some of my views about loving, improving, and living our Fraternity. I spoke about taking charge of our future rather than waiting to see what happens. I feel that we have accomplished a lot, and I hope you agree, but any list of accomplishments must be small compared to what we can do. Recently, people have been asking me if things are winding down. The answer is no. Templary doesn’t stop at the end of any term of office and certainly doesn’t slow down. We will continue to work flat out until the moment it is suddenly the responsibility of a successor. Then I return to being a supporter of our programs rather than their leader. Both are great roles. Personally, this has been amazing. I am not intimidated by the workload, but I am overwhelmed by the brotherly feeling that can be found in virtually every corner of our fraternity. The titles and regalia we use so much are harmless fun, but the real lessons of our path can be life changing if we allow them to be. My life is broader and deeper because of the opportunity to serve you. Courteously,
Duane Lee Vaught Grand Master
Templar Headgear Makes the Man ? By Sir Knight James A. Marples
o many novels these days are United Kingdom, and elsewhere. written about the Knights TemWhile I love the sight of ostrich feathplar. When at a bookstore, I often ers waving in the wind, it seems that on thumb through them and put them back some occasions, perhaps only a dozen on the shelf. When somebody gives me men or fewer show-up. I have been told a book I deem to be rubbish, I cast it into by many Masons and Sir Knights my age the trash basket. I am one who likes cold, and younger that they prefer the cap hard facts. over the chapeau. I realize that our American system of In my view, the rites were meant to Templary has been heavily influenced be rites, not set up for weekly or even by a fascination with post United States monthly meetings as improvised Lodges. Civil War uniforms, tactics, drills, and the A rite is defined as a special ceremony corresponding pomp and circumstance. as an adjunct to the main corpus of an When my late dad was on the drill-team event. I believe this is true with the York of Mt. Olivet Commandery 12 in Wichita Rite and Scottish Rite. Over the decades in the 1940s, it was a powerhouse, its they have evolved into quasi-Lodges and members parading in Triennials and earn- lost much of their appeal as rites to be ing bragging rights. They were at one time conferred on a quarterly or even on an the one Commandery in the nation with as needed basis. the longest consecutive string of Class Times are changing in Masonry. Yet a A drill team appearances. Now, as our throwback to the past just might prove members age, our Sir Knights are fewer useful and help perpetuate our beloved in number, and many cannot march. Templary well into the 21st Century. The I love to look back at the old proceed- Knights of Columbus have abandoned ings and see men from various jurisdic- their longtime uniform and tried to tions, some of whom were grand com- adapt it to modern times. Some people manders, wearing a brimless cap with like it; others hate it. I happen to belong the Templar cross. One such individual to K. of C. as well as the Masons. I have was Right Eminent David Willcox Wal- to admit, I like the plumed chapeaus of lace, past grand commander of Knights the Knights of Columbus a tiny bit better, Templar in Missouri (1892), who was the but I never received my 4th Knights of Cofather-in-law of President and Sir Knight lumbus degree due to the cost of a uniHarry S Truman. Iâ€™d encourage everyone form. It was beautiful to see large numto look at Right Eminent David Willcoxâ€™s bers of men wearing it in an honor guard, headgear. It was simple, yet distinctive. but if only a few men showed up wearIt corresponded more closely to Knight ing that uniform it was also a bit gaudy. Templar headgear worn in Canada, the So I can sympathize with the national
Knights of Columbus leaders who voted for a change after decades. The Knights of Columbus chapeaus and uniforms are, at first blush, quite similar to Templar uniforms. While I don’t advocate their new choice of military-style berets and bland uniforms, I do think that a touch of tasteful 1800’s garb such as pictured above with Right Eminent David Wallace would work as a tonic to many members by stimulating their desire to get active in Templary again. Many members cannot fit into a regulation uniform purchased thirty years ago. Admittedly, our American society has put on a few pounds. I was the exemplar candidate nearly thirty-five years ago when the Or6
der of Malta was conferred upon me. I wore a cap and mantle and loved both. Many do not want to confuse the public with its hysteria over civil war artifacts. Modifying the headgear might just do the trick to bolster membership and redeem respect from our British and Canadian counterparts. It’s worth a thought! Sir Knight James Marples is a life member of Mt. Olivet Commandery 12 in Wichita, Kansas, and currently resides in Texas. He can be contacted at email@example.com or P. O. Box 1542, Longview, TX 75606. august 2018
Masonic Philosophy By Sir Knight Robert W. Bruneau
ome aspects of this article are ex- cally correct in respect to all. Both, in retracted from papers by Brother Ross ality, are impossible. It has been proven Frazer, grand orator of the Grand numerous times that you cannot please Lodge of Nevada, and David Currie, past all the people all the time. master of Lodge Cannongate Kilwinning 2 Has this not distorted the lens of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. through which we view both the outside I have previously written a paper on world and the fraternity? In my opinion, quality versus quantity, its effect on the there are almost as many myths relatcraft today, and what we can expect in ing to the formation of our Fraternity as the future should we continue along the there are members. There is, nonetheroad we now travel. less, a common thread that runs through Most of you have heard the story of these myths, so let us look back in Machicken little, how when something fell sonic history into our legendary past. on him that he could not identify, he ran It becomes obvious that Masonry was around the barnyard crying, “the sky is never meant to be a populist order that falling.” There are many in the fraternity desired all men to be Masons. It was well today that play chicken little. I am here known that all men were not worthy and to tell you that the sky is not falling, nei- well qualified to sit in Lodge as a brother. ther is the Fraternity in decline. That question is asked numerous times Yes, we are losing members, but ex- during initiation, passing, and raising. “Is cept for those few Brethren who, be- he duly and truly prepared, worthy and cause of poor health or circumstances well qualified?” How many of us who cannot attend Lodge, most losses are not have been tasked to answer that quesMasons, but simply members, fodder for tion really knew the answer to be yes. dues to support the mounting expenses Masonry of old had certain standards of grand and subordinate Lodges. and requirements that were strictly enWe need to look closely at this drive forced and which resulted in few excepfor membership, this drive that has tions. Do not lose sight of the fact that taken on a life of its own and has unfor- Masonic membership has always been tunately been the impetus for so many selective. Our legends, rituals, and hisof the changes and innovations we have tory support that position. recently witnessed in the fraternity such Membership in anything exclusive is as one day classes, reduced or no profi- exclusive for a purpose, and it is the duty ciency, and corrupt investigations. I am of each member to insure that it remains sure that some of you are aware of simi- so, “... by never recommending anyone lar changes that have been related to or to a participation in our fraternity who excused by the changes in our culture would not bring honor to our ancient and and social climate, the endeavor to be honorable fraternity.” That essentially inoffensive toward everyone and politi- means that if you do not know the can-
didate to be worthy and well qualified, do not recommend him, period. If you know him to be anything other than worthy, do not accept him. This seems simple enough, yet once the investigating committee report is read, acceptance all too often becomes automatic. Today, even in Masonry, self-gratification and instant gratification are prevalent. Surely you recall the long suffering prayer, “Oh Lord please give me patience and give it to me now.” Many organizations believe that they must conform to changing social standards and alter or abandon historic traditions, beliefs, and practices simply to attract members. Even academia has experienced a “dumbing down” to prevent failure that would exclude a person as unacceptable. How can we remain an exclusive fraternity if we change to conform to every idiosyncrasy of society in general? While trying to give ourselves more public recognition in the hope of attracting more members (notice I use the term “members” as opposed to Masons), we become more like service clubs such as the Elks, Moose, and Rotary. We lose our exclusivity and become just another men’s club without the accoutrements of social clubs; alcohol, entertainment, and club atmosphere. Consequently, those few men who desire an education about the esoteric and exoteric meaning of the ancient mysteries do not find what they seek, and those young men who do not really know what they desire, find that other venues are much more entertaining. I grant you that there are legitimate fiscal issues facing grand and constituent Lodges. Unhappily, equating a candidate and a Master Mason to a source of revenue gets dangerously close to selling degrees and memberships. A quicker solu8
tion, in that vein, would be to advertise in Mechanix Illustrated, “Master Mason’s degree, $50.00, certificate suitable for framing, signed by the Grand Master, $25.00 more.” This would probably result in as good a Master Mason as some of the recent “all in one day” classes and other accelerated methods of acquiring members. Remember the famous words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” In the Masonic climate of 2018 it appears that not many Masons can define fully, in a Masonic sense, the terms, “peculiar, allegory, and symbols” as used to describe Masonry as a “peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” A phrase taken from the ritual says that, “Freemasonry is a progressive science.” This is apparently viewed by some members as an expression that the chairs of the Lodge are merely a step on a promotional ladder. This indicates that there is a definite lack of knowledge about the principles and ideals of Freemasonry. Freemasonry cannot accept the philosophy that its tenants can be changed by the demands of modern life, and it is the duty of experienced members to assist newer members to learn how they can serve the craft and become true Master Masons. By the acceptance of Freemasonry’s principles and traditions, we can be assured that as a fraternity we are not doomed nor is the sky falling. Look at all things in the right perspective; ham and eggs, a day’s work for the chicken, a lifetime commitment for the pig. Sir Knight Robert W. Bruneau is a past commander of Commandery 38 in Gulfport, Mississippi. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
George W. Vallery 27th Grand Master of the Grand Encampment 25th in a Series on our Past Grand Masters By Sir Knight George L. Marshall, Jr., PGC
eorge William business of which he Vallery was was head at the time born in Plattsof his death. mouth, Nebraska, on In 1891, while genJanuary 24, 1861, the eral agent of the C. B. son of German parents, & Q. Railroad in Salt Jacob Vallery (1824Lake City, he married 1905) and Magdalene Miss Martha E. Pick[Feucht] Vallery (1835ard (1862-1937), the 1919). A total of eight daughter of a promichildren was born to nent merchant of that the Vallerys. city. To this union was George was educatborn a son, George P. ed in the public schools, Vallery (1892-93). and upon graduation Sir Knight Vallery from Plattsmouth High was made a Mason in School, he entered employment in 1877 Oriental Lodge 87 in Denver on June with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quin- 28, 1893. He was exalted in Colorado cy Railroad as a messenger boy, being Chapter 29 at Denver on September 11, later promoted to telegraph operator 1893. He was greeted in Denver Counand station agent. This started his ca- cil 1 at Denver on August 27, 1906. reer in the railroad business which took He received the 32Â° of the Ancient him to Denver in 1882; to Cheyenne, and Accepted Scottish Rite in Denver Wyoming in 1888; to Salt in January of 1894. In 1909 Lake City as general agent he was elected a knight in 1889; and back to Denver commander of the court of in 1891. In 1904 he became honor, and in 1911 he was general manager of the Colcoroneted a 33Â° honorary inspector general of the orado Midland Railroad and in 1911 was elected presiSouthern Jurisdiction. dent of the company. When He was knighted in Denhe retired from the railroad ver Commandery 25 of Denbusiness, he established an ver, Colorado on September 11, 1894. He was elected investment and brokerage knight templar
eminent commander in 1901. He was Grand Recorder Adrian Hamersly, as well appointed grand sword bearer of the as by past grand commanders of the Grand Commandery of Colorado in 1895 Grand Commandery of Colorado. After and was elected grand commander on the religious services, a final tribute was given by past grand commander Stanley September 23, 1910. At the Triennial Conclave in Denver in C. Warner. Interment was at the Fair1913, he was appointed grand ward- mount Cemetery in Denver. His grave er of the Grand Encampment, and in marker and headstone are shown below. It was said that Sir Knight Vallery pos1925 was elected grand master. During the Thirty-Seventh Grand Conclave at sessed a rare executive ability which Detroit, Michigan in July of 1928, over enabled him to handle with efficiency which he presided, the following im- the duties of the office of grand master. portant items of business were accom- He was affable and courteous and numplished: each Grand Commandery was bered his friends by the thousands. given the right to adopt its own tactics, and it was also decreed that the ritual was to be under the sole supervision Right Eminent Sir Knight Marshall, KYGCH(3), of the Grand Encampment. KCT, 33°, is a past grand commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Sir Knight Vallery died on December Alabama. He is a member of the Editorial 29, 1933, in Denver, Colorado. He had Review Board of the Knight Templar maganot been well following an operation zine and has published several articles in performed the year before and had that magazine as well as in the Royal Arch been confined for three months to his Mason magazine. He can be reached at apartment in the Brown Palace Hogeomarsh@yahoo.com. tel in Denver where he had made his home for years. The funeral was held in Denver on January 2, 1934, and was attended by acting Grand Master Andrew Agnew and
Archived issues of the Knight Templar magazine can be accessed on the web at http://www.knightstemplar.org/. Then click on the button “Knight Templar” at the bottom of the page and select “Archives.” The archives include an index. 10
SOURCES USED http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi/%3C/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=102378402 Dr. Francis J. Scully, History of the Grand Encampment, Chapter XXIII, Biographies of The Grand Masters Biographical Album of Otoe and Cass Counties, online at http://archive.org/details/ portraitbiograph01geof The Railway Age, July 29, 1904, page 157, online at https://books.google.com/book s?id=XaBMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=George+William+Valler y&source=bl&ots=Xr8_YNxBVt&sig=FNs8UypYcbEKK9n6zJ64H_AXBe0&hl= en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5krfZ4ZrTAhXM7SYKHS2dAD0Q6AEIQzAL#v=one page&q=George%20William%20Vallery&f=false https://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi/%3C/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=92772186 Knight Templar Magazine, January 1995 Edition, page 16, and the February 1995 Edition, page 16
Donald Davis Thomas Delaware Grand Commander 1993 Born: June 3, 1931 Died: May 22, 2018
Ronald Paul Schmidt Arkansas Grand Commander 2015 Born: April 9, 1943 Died: May 1, 2018
Danilo Cortez Datu, Sr. Philippines Grand Commander 2014 Born: November 9, 1951 Died: May 31, 2018
Bennie George Owens Maryland Grand Commander 1987 Born: November 2, 1922 Died: May 20, 2018
“In the Footsteps of Jesus” The Star of Bethlehem
a Pilgrim’s Journey for Sir Knights, Ladies, Friends and Guests
November 11-21, 2019 -
This pilgrim’s journey is sponsored by the Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage Committee of the Grand Encampment.
The itinerary will be similar to the annual pilgrimage for ministers (somewhat less physically challenging).
Estimated Cost*: $3800 per person estimated Based on double occupancy 30 minimum participants 50 maximum participants
$500 deposit to reserve your place Based on receipt of deposit
$1500 - payment due Spring 2019 Balance payment due* by August 1, 2019 *Final cost will be determined by number of participants, airline and airport charges. Make checks payable to: Holy Land Pilgrimage, Inc.
Mail to: Sir Knight Emmett Mills, Jr. 1713 Betrillo Ct. The Villiages, FL 32162
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Cost includes: Round trip air - NYC-TLV-NYC Airline fuel surcharges Airport taxes 9 Hotel nights 8 Breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners Arrival & Departure transfers Air-conditioned motor coach All pilgrimage entrance fees Ezra Eini, Tour guide (the best!) Knights Templar travel hosts Tips to guide, driver, hotel staff Travel Insurance with TripMate For more information, contact: Rev. & Sir Knight Duane Kemerley DKemerley@gmail.com 567.376.9741 Mobile & Text Or see our information attached to the Pilgrimage site, see Activities www.knightstemplar.orgaugust 2018
Prayers at the Wailing Wall
Dome of the Rock
Sea of Galilee
Scale Model of the 2nd Temple
Garden of Gethsemane
Baptismal Renewal, Jordan River knight templar
Jaffa Gate at Dusk, Jerusalem
A program of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA.
We are offering three types of Holy Land Pilgrimages as follows:
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE for Christian Ministers. In this program, the various State Grand Commanderies of Knights Templar sponsor Christian Ministers on an expense paid study pilgrimage in Israel for eleven days. We do not solicit applications.Local ministers are invited by individual Commanderies of Knights Templar to consider the possibility, and a nomination form is submitted. Each state has its own process for selection. Selection of sponsored ministers from each state must be registered by October 10. This is a fully packed itinerary and a physically aggressive program that involves five to seven miles of walking many days, often uphill or up steps and on uneven surfaces. The KNIGHTS TEMPLAR HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE for Christian Ministers takes place in February of each year. Tentative Dates: 2019 – Group 1, February 4 – 14, 2019 Group 2, February 18 – 28, 2019 2020 – Group 1, February 3 – 13, 2020 Group 2, February 17 – 27, 2020
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE for Sir Knights, their Ladies, friends, and guests is open to anyone, and each person is responsible for their own fees and expenses related to the pilgrimage. This pilgrimage is an eleven day program that covers as much ground as possible in the touring days (we average five to seven miles of walking many days, often uphill or up steps and on uneven surfaces). The IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE is scheduled in mid-November on each odd numbered year. Tentative Dates: 2019 – November 11 – 21, 2019
KNIGHT TEMPLAR HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE FOR SENIORS (and those with mild mobility issues). This pilgrimage is designed for those who may not be able to handle the aggressive itinerary of the “Footsteps” Pilgrimage. The schedule is modified to involve not as much walking and climbing (although there is still some). The SENIORS Pilgrimage is also open to Sir Knights, their Ladies, friends, and guests, and each person is responsible for their own fees and expenses related to the pilgrimage. We are not able to accommodate wheel chairs. The KNIGHTS TEMPLAR HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE FOR SENIORS is scheduled in midNovember on every fourth even numbered year. Tentative Dates: 2020 – November 9 – 19, 2020
For more information, contact: Emmett Mills, Jr., 248.217.7132, email@example.com, or Duane Kemerley, 567.376.9741, DKemerley@gmail.com.
50th Annual Voluntary Campaign Final Report July 1, 2017 - May 15, 2018 Contributions Only - used for awards
Contributions + Trusts + Wills
Active Active Per Total Members Member Per Capita Total Cumulative $ as of: Capita $ Cumulative $ State Total Rank 5/15/2018 Average Rank Total Rank Total $1,003,005.25 82,070 $4,288,254.87 Knights Templar $19,666.95 $19,666.95 Alabama $13,600.50 23 1,186 $11.47 25 $13,600.50 Alaska $3,015.00 48 384 $7.85 34 $3,015.00 Arizona $11,442.64 29 605 $18.91 14 $24,513.39 Arkansas $6,898.13 36 954 $7.23 39 $7,437.43 Austria $0.00 13 $0.00 $0.00 Brasil $0.00 646 $0.00 $0.00 California $45,316.15 7 2,794 $16.22 22 $1,208,535.65 Colorado $14,612.20 21 781 $18.71 15 $14,612.20 Connecticut $11,756.60 26 722 $16.28 20 $11,756.60 Croatia $0.00 48 $0.00 $0.00 Delaware $2,894.30 49 253 $11.44 26 $2,894.30 District of Columbia $5,330.00 40 253 $21.07 10 $7,330.00 Florida $28,054.68 9 3,193 $8.79 30 $33,892.94 GE Subordinate - Europe $310.00 54 286 $1.08 54 $310.00 GE Subordinate - Far East $605.00 53 123 $4.92 49 $605.00 GE Subordinate - Southern Americas $145.00 55 242 $0.60 55 $145.00 Georgia $48,569.00 5 2,337 $20.78 11 $48,569.00 Hawaii $1,280.00 51 357 $3.59 52 $1,280.00 Idaho $7,569.00 35 264 $28.67 5 $57,768.72 Illinois $26,675.05 10 3,568 $7.48 36 $69,430.05 Indiana $23,372.78 13 3,003 $7.78 35 $23,372.78 Iowa $23,053.00 15 1,375 $16.77 18 $28,678.00 Italy $0.00 594 $0.00 $0.00 Kansas $4,291.00 44 1,113 $3.86 51 $15,798.32 Kentucky $17,844.00 19 2,408 $7.41 38 $17,844.00 Louisiana $8,532.00 34 1,256 $6.79 43 $8,532.00 Maine $11,755.25 27 1,386 $8.48 31 $12,654.62 Maryland $21,862.00 17 1,089 $20.08 12 $23,568.31 Mass/Rhode Island $56,609.00 4 2,197 $25.77 8 $56,609.00 Mexico $0.00 77 $0.00 $0.00 Michigan $13,561.00 24 1,698 $7.99 33 $160,500.88 Minnesota $11,485.85 28 1,165 $9.86 29 $11,485.85 16
28 48 18 38 2 27 31 49 39 14 54 53 55 12 51 10 7 21 15 25 24 37 30 20 11 4 32
Contributions Only - used for awards
Contributions + Trusts + Wills
Active Active Per Total Members Member Per Capita Total Cumulative $ as of: Capita $ Cumulative $ State Total Rank 5/15/2018 Average Rank Total Rank Total $1,003,005.25 82,070 $4,288,254.87 Mississippi $5,341.00 39 1,739 $3.07 53 $5,341.00 42 Missouri $14,654.00 20 2,074 $7.07 41 $14,654.00 26 Montana $23,087.02 14 639 $36.13 1 $23,087.02 22 Nebraska $9,105.00 33 654 $13.92 23 $9,105.00 36 Nevada $10,833.00 31 387 $27.99 6 $10,833.00 34 New Hampshire $10,949.94 30 360 $30.42 4 $10,949.94 33 New Jersey $13,490.50 25 803 $16.80 17 $13,490.50 29 New Mexico $5,759.01 38 348 $16.55 19 $5,759.01 41 New York $26,611.50 11 1,635 $16.28 21 $26,611.50 16 North Carolina $22,118.30 16 2,650 $8.35 32 $43,118.30 13 North Dakota $4,935.00 42 258 $19.13 13 $4,935.00 44 Ohio $44,650.81 8 7,123 $6.27 44 $58,940.91 9 Oklahoma $6,815.00 37 1,327 $5.14 48 $6,815.00 40 Oregon $4,295.00 43 576 $7.46 37 $4,295.00 45 Panama $1,100.00 52 156 $7.05 42 $1,100.00 52 Pennsylvania $92,403.90 1 4,288 $21.55 9 $96,666.08 5 Philippines $3,260.00 47 594 $5.49 47 $3,260.00 47 Portugal $0.00 200 $0.00 $0.00 Romania $0.00 491 $0.00 $0.00 South Carolina $19,845.91 18 2,793 $7.11 40 $19,845.91 23 South Dakota $2,617.00 50 473 $5.53 46 $2,617.00 50 Tennessee $46,430.00 6 3,373 $13.77 24 $79,169.66 6 Texas $72,467.41 2 6,375 $11.37 27 $228,596.37 3 Togo $0.00 116 $0.00 $0.00 Utah $5,241.91 41 299 $17.53 16 $5,241.91 43 Vermont $3,620.90 46 340 $10.65 28 $3,620.90 46 Virginia $61,261.49 3 1,727 $35.47 2 $61,261.49 8 Washington $24,462.12 12 725 $33.74 3 $24,462.12 19 West Virginia $9,711.60 32 2,004 $4.85 50 $9,711.60 35 Wisconsin $4,115.00 45 679 $6.06 45 $25,760.56 17 Wyoming $13,716.85 22 494 $27.77 7 $1,604,599.60 1
The space on these two pages is provided by the Knight Templar magazine to be used by the Grand Commanderies to communicate with the individual Sir Knights in their jurisdictions on a monthly basis. From time to time and for various reasons, we fail to receive any material from the editor of the state supplement for a given month. When this happens, we take the opportunity to offer you the information below. â€“ The Ed.
These photos of buildings belonging to the Knights of Malta on the island of Malta and were taken by the editor.
Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. How to join the Grand Commander’s or the Grand Master’s Clubs Any individual may send a check in the amount of $100 or more specified for the purpose of beginning a Grand Commander’s Club membership and made payable to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation. This initial contribution will begin your Grand Commander’s Club membership. In addition, members of the Grand Commander’s Club pledge to make annual contributions of $100 or more. Once contributions total $1,000, the individual is enrolled in the Grand Master’s Club. Membership is open to individuals only, and Commandery Credit is given for participation.
Qualified Charitable Distributions Can Yield Big Tax Savings Congress has now made the qualified charitable distribution (QCD) option permanent for those who wish to make direct contributions from their IRA to charity. The tax law allows individuals age 70 ½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 a year from their IRA to a qualified charity. This distribution counts toward their required minimum distribution but isn’t added to their adjusted gross income the way a normal IRA distribution is. This can provide a tax savings of up to 40% depending upon an individual’s tax situation.
Planned Giving – Create a Charitable Legacy Your Foundation now has a full web site dedicated to Planned Giving which you can access from our web site, shown at the bottom of this page. So if you’re thinking of ways to make a lasting legacy for yourself please check out the tab on the home page that says “Planned Giving”. Leaving your mark on the future is so simple with a gift in your will. To leave a gift in your Will or Trust it is as easy as asking your attorney to include a sentence that says: I bequeath (lump sum) or ( % ) of my estate to: Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. (address shown below)
Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. 1033 Long Prairie Road, Suite 5 Flower Mound, TX 75022
Telephone: 214-888-0220 Fax: 214-888-0230 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW CONTRIBUTORS TO THE KTEF CLUBS Grand Master’s Club Denton E. DuPuis.................................AL Paul J. Cates, Jr.................................... GA James C. Herndon................................ ID Graig A. Huber..................................... IN Fred W. Wege......................................KY Patrick A. Curtis................................. MD Michael S. Bickford....................... MA/RI Kenneth L. Brown......................... MA/RI Richard G. Buma........................... MA/RI Robert L. Chilson.......................... MA/RI Michael E. Hampton..................... MA/RI Daniel R. Iacovelli......................... MA/RI Karl H. Langmead......................... MA/RI James Martignoni......................... MA/RI Peter S. Moore............................. MA/RI Craig S. Shaw................................ MA/RI James W. Shockley........................ MA/RI Benjamin S. Wood........................ MA/RI John H. Jones.....................................MN Chad E. Wagoner...............................MO Max G. Reece, Jr................................. NC Benjamin A. Beynon............................PA James T. Luttrell, Jr...............................SC Justin M. Huggins............................... TN Jimmy D. Norman............................... TN Charles E. Campbell.............................TX William L. Newman, Jr.........................TX Virgilio B. Cruz, Jr................................ VA Jason L. Taliaferro............................... VA Norman C. Duncan............................ WY
Nelson S. Gwinn.................................. AL. Eloy E. Diaz..........................................GA. Patrick J. O’Connell...............................IL Robert W. Hamilton, Jr. ....................... IA Dennis A. Brekhus..............................MD John P. Ayotte............................... MA/RI Charles E. Briggs........................... MA/RI James R. Buma.............................. MA/RI Jonathan L. Chilson....................... MA/RI Richard D. Cutler........................... MA/RI Richard P. Harrell.......................... MA/RI Edward J. Kaitz.............................. MA/RI Richard C. Leung........................... MA/RI Erik J. Meyer-Curley...................... MA/RI Peter A. Randall............................ MA/RI Kenneth R. Shaw........................... MA/RI Douglas B. Weilding...................... MA/RI Joseph L. Wooters, Jr. . ................ MA/RI James S. McNeely, IV........................ MN Homer L. Puderbaugh......................... NE Lon W. Kvasager................................. ND Quentin A. Gettel................................ PA Marshall R. Fletcher............................ TN John B. McKelvy.................................. TN Bobby G. Pollard................................. TN Joe P. Haynes...................................... TX Lawrence R. Rodriguez....................... UT Jonathan A. Giles................................ VA Joseph E. Reese.................................WA
Grand Commander’s Club John C. Meyers.................................. AL James L. Mahan.................................IN Stan Kopp......................................... OH Garland R. Harman........................... SC Cameron T. McGriff........................... TN Maynard W. Thompson, Jr................. TN Charles E. Campbell.......................... TX David M.Strohsahl............................. VA Kim L. Kurasz.................................... WY Adrian G. Eriksen..............................NV
Richard D. Silver................................CO James S. McNeely, IV.......................MN Robert E. Kayal.................................. PA Robert J. Mattingly............................ TN Ralph B. Taylor.................................. TN Steven G. Young................................ TN Billy J. Hamilton, Jr............................ TX Joseph E. Reese................................ WA Danny D. Smothers......................... MO. 21
Prelate’s Chapel by Rev. William D. Hartman, right eminent grand prelate of the Grand Encampment
e celebrate this month the triennial leadership of Sir Knight Duane L. Vaught, most eminent grand master of the Grand Encampment and wish him and Lady Georgia rest, contentment, and happiness for all their hard work for our great order of Knights Templar. We also celebrate this month a new triennium under the leadership of Sir Knight Jeffrey Nelson and wish him and Lady Lisa strength, fortitude, and also rest for the work that lies ahead. It is well for us to keep our leaders in our prayers, for the many decisions and meetings and for the travel they make over the years so that our order may continue in strength and in success. As I shared with you earlier this year, prayer is the sword of the Spirit. It is the way we communicate with our Father “who art in Heaven” through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus and our Scriptures assure us that our God hears our prayers. He may not answer them as we wish, but we know that He will answer them for our best. Remember, “Prayer moves the hand of God, and that hand moves the universe.”
THE MYSTERY OF BAPHOMET Part 1 of 2
By Sir Knight Jaime Paul Lamb
n the year 1307, the Knights Templar were summarily arrested, charged with heresy, and imprisoned by the order of King Philip IV of France. During what has come to be known as the Templar inquisition, they were tortured into confessions of heretical acts such as spitting or urinating on the cross, homosexuality, and worshiping an idol referred to by some confessors as Baphomet. Over the centuries, the nature and identity of the idol has been disputed and conjectured upon. It has been adopted as a symbol of alchemical perfection and the union of opposites by occult and magical societies, and it has been demonized by fundamentalists and provocateurs who have utilized it as a means to further their respective agendas. As is often the case, there are many interesting tributaries and distributaries leading to and from this enigmatic object. It is the purpose of the present work to shed light on some of the existing notions and to perhaps unravel a little of the “Mystery of Baphomet.” THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR, SUSPICION AND SUPPRESSION
The Knights Templar, or the Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici, was founded in 1119 by Hughes de Payens. The order, which was active knight templar
from 1119 – 1312, was formed initially for the purpose of escorting pilgrims to and from the Holy Land and the Outremer (literally “over seas,” but usually used in reference to the Levant in general). The Holy Land itself was relatively secure, being recovered by Christendom during the First Crusade in 1099. The rest of Outremer, however, was treacherous terrain for pilgrims who were preyed upon and slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds, by bandits and highway robbers. The Knights Templar monastic vows and service in Outremer and the Holy Land garnered them the support of wealthy European benefactors, whose chief charity they had quickly become. While being headquartered on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (hence the order’s colloquial name), Commanderies were gradually erected throughout Christendom. Consequently, the order devised a way to employ this network of fortresses in an early form of banking which utilized the earliest known form of traveler’s checks. In order to deter highway robbers and the like, pilgrims were encouraged to deposit their holdings at one of the many Templar preceptories along the pilgrimage route. They were then given a check, written in cipher, which they were to produce in exchange for funds at another Preceptory at, or nearer to, their destination. The Templars were also able to circumvent the Papacy’s prohibition on loan interest by charging “rent” for funds borrowed, thus increasing their quickly 23
escalating wealth. The loss of the Holy Land and a few other decisive 12th and 13th century military defeats, such as those at Hattin (1187) and Acre (1291), had left the order in a position of vulnerability, particularly to those who coveted the Templars’ wealth and holdings, which were rumored to include an inestimable trove of reliquaries and mystical artifacts, perhaps even the fabled treasure of King Solomon. Murmurings of the Templars’ secret initiatory rites also began to sow distrust in the minds of the nobles and the church. Exacerbating matters, King Philip IV was indebted to the Templars for funds loaned to him for the dowry of his sister and debts incurred during an expensive Flemish military campaign. Conveniently, Philip was able to utilize the Templars’ unfortunate situation to his advantage and had the Knights arrested on charges of heresy on October 13, 1307. Their preceptories were raided and their holdings were confiscated. They were then cruelly tortured into confessions. In the year 1312, which was during the Babylonian captivity of the Papacy (1309 – 1377) in Avignon, Pope Clement V, the King’s “Puppet Pope,” officially disbanded the order. THE ACCUSATIONS AND CHARGES In addition to the primary Articles of Accusation collected by Philip’s ministers, Guillaume de Nogaret and Enguerrand de Marigny, depositions were taken from Squin de Flexian and Noffo Dei, both of whom were former Templars who had been put out of the order for heresy and other offenses. According to the depositions of the disgraced Templars, each Knight was sworn to fur24
ther the order’s interests whether right or wrong; the heads of the order were in a secret Saracenic alliance; initiates were made to desecrate the crucifix; and women pregnant by the Templars were taught to procure abortions. Also in these depositions, reference was made to the presence of many unlawful and profane statues of a nature contrary to Christianity, which each member was sworn to keep secret and inviolate under pain of death or perpetual confinement. Despite the conspicuous absence of empirical evidence, the accusations were advanced as official charges, and the Knights Templar were arrested and sequestered to await the arrival of the Court of the Inquisition, men who, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, literally made it their business to torture human beings into confessions. In all, the Articles of Accusation against the Knights Templar consisted of onehundred-twenty-seven charges in nine sub categories. Accusation number five, which stated that the Templars venerated an idol or a head, is of particular interest as it pertains to our current subject, Baphomet. TORTURE, CONFESSIONS, AND THE TEMPLAR INQUISITION Thirty-six of the total two-hundredthirty-one Templars examined by the Inquisition expired under what was inaccurately referred to as “the gentle method” of procuring confessions. In actuality, these confessions were extracted by means of the most unimaginably heinous and barbaric methods. “Sometimes the patient was stripped naked, his hands were august 2018
tied behind his back, heavy weights were fastened to his feet, and the cord which confined his hands passed over a pulley. At a given signal, he was hoisted into the air, where he hung suspended by his arms, which were thus drawn out of their natural position: then suddenly the cord would be let run, but checked before the patient reached the ground, and thus a tremendous shock given to his frame [...] The teeth of the Templars were occasionally drawn, their feet roasted, weights suspended from all parts of their bodies; and thus they gave their testimony without constraint!”1
and 180 who confessed to defiling the cross in various ways.”2
Knight Templar Jean de Chaumes confessed that, at his initiation, he was told, “You believe wrongly, because he [Christ] is indeed a false prophet. Believe only in God in heaven and not in him.”3 This sentiment was echoed in several of the confessions, such as that of a Templar who was admonished, “Do not believe that the man Jesus whom the Jews crucified in Outremer is God and that he can save you.”4 Another was shown a crucifix by his initiator and told, “Set not much faith in this, for it is too young.”5 This particular heretical motif of Christ denial occurred so regularly and consistently in the confessions that one might Guilt was assumed prima facie, no easily get the impression that there had defense was heard, and affirmative to be some truth in it. In fact, many of answers to the accusations alone were the confessions were similar in telling recorded as testimony. One can only details which, perhaps because of their look back in awe at the almost superhu- uncommon nature, hinted at a sort of man resolve shown by those thirty-six verity. For a variety of reasons, these Templars who, rather than knowingly confessions could readily cause one to confess under such conditions, chose entertain the possibility of a Saracenic, to give up their ghosts. Conversely, we Sufic, Gnostic, or at the very least, Jomust also consider the possibility that hannine influence on the Templars while the secrets they concealed under such headquartered on the Temple Mount. horrific circumstances were indeed eleSome historians believe that there ments of their initiatory rituals, secrets was an amount of truth to the allegawhich the Templars were sworn to keep tions against the Templars and their inviolate even upon pain of death, as subsequent confessions.6 The Chinon was stated in the depositions taken Parchment, for example, suggests that from former Templars Squin de Flexian spitting upon, or otherwise desecrating and Noffo Dei. the crucifix formed a part of their initiation rituals and that the act was meant “... Of 231 Knights examined by to strengthen the resolve of a captured the pope’s Commissioners in Paris, Templar forced to do so by his Saracen only twelve admitted, under torcaptors. This training was apparently ture, to knowing anything about meant to teach him to commit heretithe icon, as against 183 who concal acts, “[…] with the mind only and fessed that they renounced Christ not with the heart.”7 It has also been knight templar
contended that there is ample reason to scribed a wooden head upon which Basuspect that the worship of Baphomet phomet was painted and said, “that he was, in fact, an element of the Templar worshipped it by kissing its feet and exinitiatory system.8 It is unclear whether claiming, ‘Yalla.’” He went on to describe this worship was merely a simulation of the word Yalla, which is of course quite pagan idolatry, a practice used to devel- similar to Allah, as being verbum Saraop a callousness to such forced heretical cenorum, a word used by the Saracens, acts in the unfortunate event of capture thus reinforcing the theory that the by the Saracens, or if it was an authentic Knights Templar had absorbed elements devotional expression. of their supposed enemy’s theological Of all the recorded confessions, how- conception. An unnamed Florentine ever, none were quite as bizarre as those Templar confessed that there were seinvolving some form of supernatural cret chapters within the order wherein head; sometimes a head with three faces one Knight was shown the idol and ad(which brings to mind Hecate, the lunar monished to, “adore this head – this crone goddess of the crossroads in classi- head is your god and your Mahomet.”11 cal Greek mythology, who is often depicted with three faces) and sometimes the “I was alone in a chamber with head of a bearded man or a woman or a the person who received me: cat and often somehow conflated with he drew out of a box a head, or the worship of the enigmatic Baphomet. idol, which appeared to me to have three faces, and said, Thou “Item, that in each province shouldst adore it as thy Saviour they had idols, namely heads. and that of the order of the TemItem, that they adored these ple. We then bent two knees, and I idols. Item, that they said that cried, Blessed be he who will save the head could save them. Item, my soul, and I worshipped it.”12 that it could make riches. Item, that it could make the trees flowBaphomet was mentioned several er. Item, that it made the land times, though descriptions were incongerminate. Item, that they sursistent. The only certainty is that, judgrounded or touched each head ing by the Templar’s descriptions of the of the aforesaid idol with small idol, it was a very grim relic indeed; and cords, which they wore around before it, the Templars had apparently themselves next to the shirt or prostrated themselves in ritual adoration. Despite the frequency with which the flesh.”9 the Baphomet idol, or some head relatThe idol has been described as, “[...] ed to it, occurred in the confessions, not a head with one face or two faces, one specimen was found in or around sometimes bearded and sometimes not, the Templar’s preceptories, save one silmade of silver or of wood, a picture of a ver-gilt female head affixed with a label man or of a woman, an embalmed head that read: Capud LVIIIm. This Head 58m that glowed in the dark, or a demon.”10 will be addressed in further detail later Provencal Knight, Raymond Rubei, de- in the present work. 26
THE WORD “Baphomet (bæ •fomet). [a. F. Baphomet; cf. Pr. Bafomet, OSp. Mafomat.] a. A form of the name Mahomed used by mediæval writers. b. Alleged name of the idol which the Templars were accused of worshipping. (According to l’Abbé Constant, quoted by Littré, this word was cabalistically formed by writing backward tem. o. h. p. ab., abbreviation of templi omnium hominum pacis abbas, ‘abbot’ or ‘father of the temple of peace of all men.’) Hence Baphomet•ic a. [...] Baphomet is a secret word ascribed to the Templars. [...] The great stress [...] in the condemnation of the templars is laid on the worship of Baphomet. The talismans, bowls, symbols, are even called Baphometic. [...] My Spiritual New-birth, or Baphometic Fire-baptism.”13 The first recorded use of the word Baphomet was in a 1098 letter composed by French Crusader Anselm of Ribemont, who wrote that his Saracen enemies, “[...] called loudly upon Baphometh,”14 while he and his fellow soldiers prayed silently in their hearts, before attacking and forcing the Saracens outside of the city walls. Raymond of Aguilers, a chronicler of the First Crusade, had made mention of both Bafumarias and Bafumariæ in connection with the Saracens.15 The troubadours were also said to have employed the word Baformaria for mosque and Bafomet for Mohammed. The name Bafometz appeared in about 1195 in the Occitan poem, Senhors, per los Nostres Peccatz, written by the troubadour Gaknight templar
vaudan, shortly after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin. Bafomet is again referred to in a 1250 poem by Auvergnat troubador Austorc d’Aorlhac while lamenting the failure of the Seventh Crusade.16 Much later, Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733-1811), a Freemason and bookseller, claimed that the word Baphomet was derived from the Greek, βαφη μητȢς (baphe metous), meaning “baptism of wisdom.”17 He was also the first to propose that the Templars were Manichaean Gnostics and that their initiatory rites, which were structured in hierarchical grades such as those of Mithraism or Freemasonry, were Saracenic in origin.18 “[Baphomet’s] identification with Mahomet appears to be derived from its usage in Provence. This had been the centre of the Cathar Church in France, until the Albigensian Crusade of 1209-1229 killed its protectors and the nascent inquisition killed or silenced any survivors.”19 Until recently, the common scholarly consensus was that Baphomet was a medieval French corruption of the name Mahomet (Muhammed), the prophet of Islam, the Saracen’s faith. This theory poses a problem, however, because: if Baphomet were an idol, as was documented in the majority of confessions referencing the object, and idolatry was (and still is) strictly forbidden in Islam – an idol, or any representation, of the prophet Muhammed being particularly taboo – then Baphomet was likely not the name of an idol, just as an idol would never be called Mahomet. Such an explanation is contrary to a basic tenet of Islam. 27
“Probably relying on contemporary Eastern sources, Western scholars have recently supposed that ‘Bafomet’ has no connection with Mohammed but could well be a corruption of the Arabic ‘Abufihamat’ (pronounced in the Moorish Spanish similar to bufihamat). The word means ‘father of understanding.’”20 Eliphas Levi, whom we will discuss in further detail later in the present work, developed a theory that the word Baphomet, when reversed and slightly rearranged into TEM. O. H. P. AB., was a qabalistically composed abbreviation for the Latin: templi omnium hominum pacis abbas. However, Levi’s methodology here seems to be slightly more convoluted than necessary, as there would be no reason to go through such trouble to conceal such an innocuous epithet as “father of the temple of peace of all men.”21 A more recent interpretation involves the use of the Atbash cipher, which is a Hebrew substitutiontype cipher in which each letter is represented by another. The Atbash cipher was in use as early as the 4th century BC by scribes writing the book of Jeremiah. While translating the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, Dr. Hugh Schonfield employed the cipher to great effect, and later in his life, he became interested in the history of the Knights Templar. In his studies of the order, Schonfield became par28
ticularly interested in the etymology of the word Baphomet; and, likely due to his experiences at Qumran, he applied the Atbash cipher to the word. Rendered in Hebrew with the cipher applied, Baphomet (BPhVMT or בפומתbecomes wisdom (SVPhYA or שופיא, a rendering of the Greek sophia in Hebrew). Schonfield was certain that the Templars would have been familiar with the Atbash cipher and may have been using it to conceal aspects of their initiation rituals. Extrapolating on this line of reasoning, it is not a tremendous leap to suppose that this was the method by which they kept inviolate certain words used as “passes” by the order. Furthermore, considering the word’s association with both wisdom and the head, Baphomet may perhaps be a somewhat cryptic allusion to an enlightened state of consciousness, thus alluding to the theory that the Templars may have been exposed to either the esoteric doctrines and practices of the Sufis while in the Holy Land, the Pistis Sophia and other non-canonical
gospels while headquartered on Temple Mount, or perhaps to the purported gnosis of the Cathari while in Languedoc,
though these claims are unsupported by any extant data. To be continued in the September issue.
Notes 1. Keightly, Secret Societies of the Middle Ages, Weiser, 2005, pp. 294-295 2. The Myth of Baphomet, freemasonry.bcy.ca, retrieved online 3. Michelet, Proces des Templiers, Deposition of Jean de Chaumes, 1841, p. 384, PDF retrieved online 4. Schottmuller, Der Untergang des Templer-Ordens, Deposition of Deodatus Jefet, 1887, p. 67, PDF retrieved online 5. Michelet, Proces des Templiers, Deposition of Fulk de Troyes, 1841, p. 383, PDF retrieved online 6. Martin, Barber, Haag, et al. 7. Martin, The Knights Templar: History and Myths of the Legendary Military Order, Pocket Essentials, 2004, p. 138 8. Haag, The Templars: The History and the Myth: From Solomon’s Temple to the Freemasons, Harper Collins, 2009 9. Michelet, History of France, Appleton, 1860, p. 375 10. Burman, Supremely Abominable Crimes: The Trial of the Knights Templar, Allison & Busby, 1994, p.304 11. Ralls, The Knights Templar Encyclopedia, New Page, 2007, p. 154 12. Keightly, Secret Societies of the Middle Ages, confession of Deodatus Jefet, Weiser, 2005, pp. 294-295 13. Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1984, p. 659 14. Godfrey (of Buillon), Epistolae et Diplomata; Accedunt Appendices, 1854, p. 475, retrieved online 15. Michaud, History of the Crusades vol. 3, Redfield, 1853, p. 497 16. The Troubadors: An Introduction, Gaunt & Kay (editors), Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 112 17. Nicolai, Versuch über die Beschuldigungen welche dem Tempelherrenorden gemacht worden, und über dessen Geheimniß, 1782, p. 136 18. Michaud, History of the Crusades vol. 3, Redfield, 1853, p. 496 19. The Myth of Baphomet, freemasonry.bcy.ca, retrieved online 20. Shah, The Sufis, ISF Publishing, 2015, p. 254 21. Levi, Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual, Martino Publishing, 2011, pp. 315-316 Sir Knight Jaime Paul Lamb is a member of Phoenix Commandery 3, Phoenix, AZ and is the author of the forthcoming book Myth, Magic & Masonry: Occult Perspectives In Freemasonry, to be released in the summer of 2018. He may be contacted at: email@example.com. knight templar
The Masonic Importance of the Royal Arch By Sir Knight Nicholas Adair
f the highest degree a Mason can attain is the Master Mason degree, why do we have appendant bodies like the York Rite? I am sure a lot of these questions have bounced around in your head from time to time, especially when you just became a Master Mason. Give me a moment to explain a bit of history on the subject and where the ideas came from to begin with. The system of Masonic degrees, as now practiced, is the product of an evolution. The cause for that evolution can be debated by some to be for the better, and by others for the worse. This is noted in the original Book of Constitutions of Masonry called The Ahimon Rezon. The original author, Laurence Dermott, made two distinctions between two classes of Masons he dubbed “Antient” and “Modern.” Dermott was undoubtedly an Antient and made many claims, whether facetiously or speculatively, that the Moderns did not meet the same standards as the Antients. Regardless of this being fact or conjecture, there was a unification of Antient and Modern Lodges in 1813, and these conjectures became apparent in his writing of the Ahimon Rezon in 1753, followed by subsequent versions thereafter. Prior to 1717, there is no record that Freemasonry consisted of more than one degree. The symbolism, the beautiful lectures, and the ornate diction with which we find it clothed today represent the growth and development 30
from the crude and transitional stages of past centuries. Strictly speaking, there were no degrees from the dawn of Freemasonry until it began to take on the speculative feature. The operative Mason, prior to the revival of 1717, was designated as an Apprentice, Fellow Craft, or Master, not because of any special ceremony or degree work, but because of the length of time of service and skill manifested in his handicraft. The Ancient Charges and Regulations, as read to the apprentices, referred to the duties they owed to each other, to the Lodge, and to the Holy Church. Some of our best historians doubt that a grip and password were connected with these ancient ceremonies. The introduction of the speculative Mason prepared the way for the dawn of Freemasonry. The so-called revival of 1717 was but the bursting forth of the evolutionary forces that had been slowly developing for half a century. These same forces are at work today, so that it can truly be said that Freemasonry is a progressive science. Masonic historians are agreed that sometime between 1723 and 1730 the second and third degrees evolved, and that in the evolution of degrees, ritualism and symbolism developed, resulting in the intellectual and philosophical Freemasonry of today. The central idea of the entire system of Freemasonry became the “loss” and the “recovery” of the “Word,” symbolizing death and the resurrection, the ending of the present august 2018
and the beginning of the future life. The Royal Arch stands as the rainbow of promise of the Noachite Legend, as the resurrection of that which was lost and that which can be recovered. In our present ritual of the third degree, the Master’s word is lost. The “Word” was never lost but was explained within the Royal Arch. Before the legend of Hiram Abiff was introduced in the Master’s Degree, the “True Word” was communicated in the Master’s degree, not a substitute. It necessarily followed that when the legend of Hiram Abiff became a part of the ritual of this degree, the loss of the “Word” followed, as the loss is a part of the Hiramic legend. The loss without a recovery would be an absurdity. To complete the symbolism of Freemasonry, the “Word” must be recovered, hence the necessity for a fourth degree, the Royal Arch. In 1738 or earlier, the story of the loss of the “Word” and the new legend, the Royal Arch, were gradually introduced into the Lodges, and when the Freemasonry of England was divided into the Moderns and Ancients in 1751, the latter organizing a Grand Lodge and adopting a ritual of four degrees, which included the Royal Arch. The Grand Lodge of Moderns evidently continued to use the old ritual, without the legend of Hiram Abiff, while the Grand Lodge of Antients used the new ritual containing the Hiramic legend and the fourth degree until the year 1813, when the two Grand Lodges united and formed the present United Grand Lodge of England. It is therefore to the Grand Lodge of Ancients that we owe the Master’s degree as found in our ritual and also the preservation of the Royal Arch degree. We see, therefore, that “the Royal Arch is merely the evolution of a truth contained knight templar
in the early third degree.” “The Master Mason degree without the Royal Arch is a story half told, a song half sung, and a promise unfulfilled.” The candidate is promised that he should receive something but is put off with a substitute. He is left in darkness, in doubt, and to the thoughtful one, in a condition of disappointment. Yet, there is a purpose behind this seeming deception. Light and revealed truth come only through toil and willing service. This lesson must be learned before any Mason is qualified to know and to appreciate the “True Master’s Word.” It is unfortunate that the Royal Arch degree was separated from the Blue degrees, but fortunate or unfortunate, the Royal Arch stands as the last of the degrees in Ancient Craft Masonry. It is the summit, and no Master Mason is in possession of all that Freemasonry teaches without the Royal Arch. The series of four degrees continued to be conferred under a Lodge charter until about 1750, at least in America. The earliest history we have of the Royal Arch in this country is in 1753, when it was conferred under Lodge charter in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was introduced into New York at about the same time by an English military Lodge and into Massachusetts in 1769, where it was conferred in St. Andrew’s Lodge. Since that time, the Royal Arch degree has remained secure in its position as the capstone of Blue Lodge Masonry, even though it’s contained in an appendant body. The term “Royal Arch Lodge” was succeeded by “Chapter” and “Royal Arch Chapter.” The word “Chapter” was used in Connecticut as early as September 5, 1783; in Pennsylvania by September 5, 1789; in New York by April 29, 1791; and 31
in Massachusetts by December 19, 1794. The word “Chapter” took the place of “Lodge” in England for the first time on April 29, 1768. The word “Companion,” used in the Chapter in place of “Brother,” was first used in England in 1778. These terms, “Chapter” and “Companion,” were soon carried to America where they flourished as elements in the capitular system of degrees. Such, in brief, is the history of the Royal Arch Degree. Its parentage is as legitimate as any of the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry - the fruit of symbolism and allegory. To be a Master Mason is the highest and most honorable degree any man can attain. It entitles him to all the rights and privileges of the Craft. All the accumulated so-called “higher” degrees do not add anything to his Masonic stature. The Royal Arch stands as a part of
the Master’s Degree. It is the summit of its excellency. It is the privilege and should be the duty of all Master Masons to complete the Masonic story, told in allegory and revealed in symbolism, by receiving the Royal Arch. As with all degrees, the continued effort put into the understanding, and meaning of the degree will add progressively to a better understanding of Masonry. The Royal Arch degree is no different. In my personal opinion, without understanding the Entered Apprentice degree, the Fellowcraft degree would be hollow and pointless. The same can be said about the Master Mason to the Royal Arch degree. Remember to hold your commitment to your Blue Lodge as a solid foundation of any of the appendant degrees. Sir Knight Nicholas Adair is a member of Mat-Su Commandery 4 in Wasilla, Alaska. He is the state supplement editor for the Knight Templar magazine for Alaska and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. We publish letters and articles from a variety of sources and points of view. The opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policy of the Grand Encampment, the Knight Templar magazine, or the Editorial Review Board.
Texarkana Assembly 196; Ms. Maggie Morgan, worthy president.
Independence Assembly 150; (Mrs. Charles) Beverly Martin, worthy president.
Knights at the Bookshelf By Sir Knight W. Bruce Pruitt, PGC
Freemasonry and Its Ancient Mystic Rites, Charles W. Leadbeater, Copyright 1986; pub. Gramercy Books, New York; ISBN 0-517-20267-0; 220 pages.
he author of this interesting book was a member of the clergy of the Church of England in his early days. He later joined the Theosophical Society and was a teacher and lecturer, spending time in India investigating Buddhism. He worked closely with Col. H. S. Olcott, founder of the Society. He was a 32nd degree Mason and wrote The Hidden Side of Freemasonry along with books about “superphysical phenomena.” In this book, Leadbeater deals with the kinship of Freemasonry with some of the ancient, mysterious rites of various cultures and historic periods. The first chapter is a brief review, covering the different theories of the origins of Masonry. It touches various schools that he calls Authentic, Anthropological, Mystic, Occult, and Orthodox. In chapters two through six, we find the mysteries of Egypt, Crete, Judaea, Greece, and Rome. The author begins in chapter seven to describe a more complete development of the theories and mysteries of Freemasonry. He considers the craft along with the expansion of Christianity in Medieval times. In reading this book, one should not expect a tight flow of subjects, one to another. Leadbeater likes to simply touch on one matter, introduce it, and then hop over to another. In spite of that habit, the reader is still given a large “basket of information” that is always interesting. He gets into the Middle Ages and stonemasons and finally develops the transition from operative to speculative Freemasonry. In the rest of the book, chapters eight through twelve, we find all kinds of subjects – Culdees, The Holy Grail, Heredom, Royal Order of Scotland, the Rosy Cross, Knights Templar, and so forth. Appendix I contains a list of the twenty-five degrees of The Council of Emperors of the East and West and the corresponding ones in Scottish Rite. Appendix II is a seventeen page list of the principal Masonic events from 1717 to 1914. This book is highly recommended to anyone interested in the more philosophical approach to the study of Freemasonry. 34
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